Technology China now requires mandatory facial scans for cell phones users
Chinese Citizens Will Have to Scan Their Faces to Get Internet Access and New Phone Numbers
Starting December 1, Chinese citizens will have to allow telecommunications carriers to scan their faces when signing up for internet access or to get a new phone number. © Photo: Getty ImagesThe new rule was announced by China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) on September 27 (link in Chinese). Roughly translated via Google, the statement says the reason for the new changes is to “earnestly safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of citizens in the cyberspace.
China's requirement that all new mobile phone users submit a facial scan went into effect, as international critics wary of the new tech called the move a "wake up call to people everywhere."
The new regulations were announced by China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology as a way to protect citizens' interests and rights in cyberspace, as well as to protect against fraud, in a. The new facial scan requirement took effect on Sunday.
Critics of facial recognition technology, especially when implemented by government agencies, argue it is an invasive form of surveillance, and say the controversial tech is creeping its way into law enforcement uses in the U.S. as well.
China introduces mandatory face scans for phone users
China will require telecom operators to collect face scans when registering new phone users at offline outlets starting Sunday, according to the country's information technology authority, as Beijing continues to tighten cyberspace controls. In September, China's industry and information technology ministry issued a notice on "safeguarding the legitimate rights and interests of citizens online", which laid out rules for enforcing real-name registration.
"Facial recognition is a uniquely dangerous form of surveillance. It enables governments to engage in invasive and ubiquitous monitoring of an entire population," Evan Greer, the deputy director of Fight for the Future, a nonprofit digital rights advocacy group, told ABC News.
"There's no evidence that this type of technology improves public safety, but it's ideal for authoritarian control," Greer said.
China introduces mandatory face scans for phone users
China will require telecom operators to collect face scans when registering new phone users at offline outlets starting Sunday.In September, China's industry and information technology ministry issued a notice on "safeguarding the legitimate rights and interests of citizens online", which laid out rules for enforcing real-name registration.
Greer said that while it is "tempting" and can be convenient for Westerners to "point fingers at China" for their use of biometric surveillance technology, "the reality is that face surveillance programs are spreading quickly in the US and Europe as well."
Ain July said that the U.S.’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials used facial recognition technology to go through state driver’s license databases.
Also in July, a UK-based report found thatby London’s Metropolitan Police were innocent.
Greer and Fight for the Future are advocating for an outright ban on facial recognition technology for surveillance purposes.
"China's implementation of this technology should be a wake-up call to people everywhere who care about basic human liberty," she said.
In October, California passed a bill making it the largest state in the nation to ban facial recognition software in police body cameras.
China now requires face scans to sign up for phone service
China is as determined as ever to link real identities to the digital world. As of December 1st, anyone signing up for a new cellphone or cellular data contract is required to not only show their national ID card, but submit to a face scan to verify that identity. It's ostensibly meant to reduce fraud, but it also reduces your ability to use phone services in an anonymous way -- it'll be that much easier for the Chinese government to silence dissenters.There are privacy issues beyond that, too.
“Face-scanning police body cameras have no place on our streets, where they can be used for dragnet surveillance of Californians, our locations, and our personal associations,” Matt Cagle, the technology and civil liberties attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California said in a.
Cagle argued that the bill "helps ensure Californians don’t become test subjects for an invasive and dangerous tracking technology that undermines our most fundamental civil liberties and human rights.”
The city of San Francisco took it a step further in May, becoming the first U.S. city to block the use of facial recognition tech by all police and city agencies.
China names and shames tech giants for app privacy violations .
Chinese tech giants Tencent and Xiaomi have been reprimanded by Beijing for designing apps that infringe on users' privacy, even as the Communist regime amasses its own collection of personal data. Tencent is China's leading online video game company as well as a giant in messaging and myriad other apps. - Face scans -In September, a face-swapping app named Zao quickly became one of China's most downloaded apps but also triggered a backlash over privacy fears.The app allowed users to insert themselves into scenes from well-known movies using "deepfake" technology.
China introduces mandatory face scans for new mobile users, raising surveillance fears
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Face Scanning is mandatory for mobile phone users in China
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